Conception Verses Implantation – When Are You Considered Pregnant?

All woman who are trying to get pregnant have one thing in mind – when will I know for sure? Your Ovatel fertility monitor can tell you when you are most fertile each cycle, and then we wait for magic.

The dreaded two week wait is a stressful one for most women who are hoping that they are indeed carrying a new life. It is filled with what ifs and doubt that you caught the egg. There are worries about how long it will take to actually fall pregnant and for those who have been trying over 6 months, it can seem like eternity, and that something is wrong. The truth is that there is a difference between fertilization or conception, and actual implantation. Once you understand the difference and what can happen between these two distinct events, you can see why doctors tell women that it can take a healthy couple up to one full year of active trying to get successfully pregnant.

The Conception Theory

The term conception is when the sperm and egg combine in that precious magic moment. This does not mean that you are pregnant. If you took a home or blood pregnancy test at this moment, you would not find any hCG – the chemical that indicates you are indeed pregnant – in your body. Conception simply is the fertilizing of the ovum after ovulation.

Couples who are TTCing usually are timing intercourse perfectly, especially those who chart with MyCycleDiary and use ovulation prediction kits. This means that every cycle you have a high likelihood of conception. If both sperm and egg are present at the right time under the right conditions, conception is 99% likely. Then why are you not pregnant right now? Conception is only the first step in the 2 week journey.

Once an ovum and sperm have combined to yield an entire blue print for a new person, it has a huge task to accomplish. It has to have combined all the genetic material correctly without fail or fault. There can be no blips or broken combinations. If there is, the fertilized egg will stop dividing before it ever leaves the fallopian tube. This happens most often. There is either too much genetic material (trisomy) or too little (missing chromosomes). Sometimes the chromosomes break and reattach in the wrong place or there is some other defect in DNA that stops the blastocyst from dividing after 3-5 days. This why when women undergo IVF they wait 3-5 to watch the embryos grow and see which ones are actually dividing still.

Let’s say that the new little embryo has perfect DNA and is dividing as all good newly formed babies should, it should exit the fallopian tube and enter the uterus in about 6 days after ovulation occurred. Now the little ball of cells is looking for a place to land, which leads us to the discussion about implantation and what it means.

Initiating Implantation

Once the embryo has reached the uterus, you are about half way through the two week wait. Your body is making tons of progesterone that will make the lining of your uterus sticky. This stops the egg from rolling once it hits the uterine cavity. Implantation can happen as soon as the blastocyst getting the uterus at 6 days after ovulation and anytime up to 12 days past ovulation. The normal time of implantation is between 8-10 days past ovulation.

The embryo will be stopped by the sticky chemicals on the uterine lining and will hatch out of its shell. Once it hatches it secretes chemicals that allow it to digest the lining and burrow into it. At this moment, hCG is produced and you are now officially pregnant.

Even though the embryo has begun the implantation process and is secreting the chemical hCG, it does not mean things are perfect. Implantation can be tricky for many reasons. If the embryo implants too soon, it could be too close to or in the fallopian tube. If the embryo implants too late, it may not secrete enough hCG to stop your period from coming. The embryo can also not implant deep enough to support the building of the placenta. One can easily see that it still can mean that your period will show up on time even if implantation has started. There is nothing anyone can do and most likely you will never even know you were pregnant. Many doctors refer to this as a chemical pregnancy as the embryonic tissue never developed, only the pregnancy hormone was released.

Let’s say that the little embryo has managed to implant, create hCG, stop your period from coming, and made the test turn positive. Now you can say you are pregnant. An embryo that accomplishes life this far has a good chance of survival to full term. The risks are still there in the first trimester, but most damaged or embryos that are not compatible with life do not make it through the two week wait.

Menstrual Cycles – the Real Truth

There are many myths, truths, and theories about a woman’s menstrual cycle. There is a lot of evidence that the menstrual cycle is influenced by the moon. The amount of water and the pull from the moon will effect when a woman will begin her menses. Other facts show that it is the amount of estrogen a woman is making and when she makes it that will determine when she will ovulate, and that ovulation is the real govern of the menstrual cycle.

The truth is that there are many influences into a woman’s cycle each month. The key to understanding it will mean she will have to get to know her body, not the bodies of others. A woman can chart and learn about her cycle to see whether her body is reacting normally to all the influences in her life. This will enable her to see not only when she is fertile or not, but also to see if there is a problem that needs to be seen by her doctor.

Many of us were either not told or made to feel that the beginning of our menstrual cycles was something to feel dirty or secretive about. Very few girls are ever told the biology behind their periods. They are not told about what it means and how to figure it out and keep track of it.

Menstrual Biology

One of the first facts that all women should know is that all baby girls are born with all the eggs they will ever have in their lifetime. Unlike boys who do not start producing sperm until puberty, girls have all they will before birth. Over half of what you are born with will die off before puberty. While only one to two eggs are ever released in each cycle, a woman starts each cycle off with over 16 eggs in circulation. As she grows older this count will slow down and eventually she will run out of eggs and enter menopause.

It is a myth that a woman only uses one egg per cycle. She will start each cycle with up to 30 follicles. Each follicle contains an egg. Only one or two of the eggs will actually take over during a cycle and mature. Therefore, even though a girl baby can be born with as many as 450,000 eggs, she could only have less than 225,000 by the onset of puberty and will be using up to 30 of them each 25-40 days until she runs out. This means a normal woman will run out of eggs long before she runs out of years.

There is an actual biological pathway to how we are fertile. It actually begins with the brain, not our reproductive organs. There is a place of the brain called the hypothalamus. This place regulates many body functions like when we want to eat, drink, desire sleep, want to have sex, and other hormonal or endocrine functions. The role in releasing an egg begins with the release of FSH-RF – follicle stimulating hormone releasing factor. This hormone tells another part of the brain – the pituitary gland – to start releasing FSH – follicle stimulating hormone. This starts the beginning of egg production. Many follicles that each contain one egg each, are stimulated from this chemical reaction.

The follicles respond to this FSH by making estrogen. In the ideal endocrine world the follicles will release more and more estrogen. This will thicken the uterine lining and make the mucus in the cervix change. As the estrogen in the blood increases, it tells the hypothalamus a message. It says that there are one or two dominant follicles that are ready. When it peaks it tells the hypothalamus releases LH-RF – luteinizing hormone releasing factor. This tells the pituitary gland to release LH – luteinizing hormone – that makes the biggest follicle (those over 18 mm) mature and release in what is known as ovulation.

The Real Happening in Ovulation

The releasing of an egg is more than just when you can get pregnant. When the time approaches, it is known as your fertility window. During this time the blood supply to your ovaries increases. This will allow the ovaries to get more estrogen and other hormones that will allow follicle growth and then lead up to the point of ovulation. You will probably notice some cramping during this time as the ligaments supporting the ovaries pull each one closer to their tube. Between each fallopian tube and ovary is a space. This space can keep an egg from reaching the uterus if the space is too far and the egg cannot find its way into the tube where the sperm is waiting to fertilize it.

The cervix will also begin to secrete more mucus. It will be thinner and more abundant. This helps the sperm live long enough to get into the uterus. Many women will use a monitor such as Ovatel to help them figure out and confirm this fertile window. A woman will know for sure that ovulation has taken place by her temperature first thing in the morning – called basal body temperature. If her temperature stays higher than 0.4 degree for at least 3 days, it confirms that ovulation has occurred.  

Changes in the Uterus

From the time of ovulation until your next period – or finding out you are pregnant – your body will begin preparing for a fertilized egg to make its way into the uterus. Once ovulation has occurred the spot it came from will turn into a corpus luteum or yellow cyst. It makes high amounts of progesterone and low amounts of estrogen. The progesterone helps to build the lining thicker and make it sticky. This sticky substance will catch the egg as it rolls out of the tube and into the uterine cavity. This stops the egg from rolling so it can implant.

If the egg is fertilized and implants into the uterus, the corpus luteum will continue to make more and more estrogen and progesterone. It knows that there is an embryo present because the implanting egg starts to make hCG, the hormone a woman tests for in pregnancy. The more hCG that is made by the embryo, the more female hormones that are made by the ovaries to sustain the pregnancy until the placenta takes over between 8-12 weeks.

If the egg does not become fertilized or cannot implant, then there will be no hCG to tell the ovaries to keep up Progesterone production. The corpus luteum will shrink and heal. Once it has done this the progesterone drops and the lining of the uterus begins to break down. This is when menstruation occurs and the cycle begins all over again.

Menstruation Myths

There are many myths that surround a woman’s menstrual cycle. The truth is that every woman is so different that what is normal for one woman may not be the same for another. As long as your cycles are consistent and are not changing, then they are normal for you.

Some myths include:

  • Every woman bleeds every month
  • Every woman should have a 28 day cycle
  • Every woman ovulates every cycle
  • Pregnant women do not have periods
  • You cannot get pregnant on your period
  • Ovulation occurs 14 days into a woman’s cycle

 

While most women have cycles that range between 26-30 days, it is considered normal to have cycles that range from 24-40 days. As long as your cycles stay roughly the same length for the most part, there is nothing to worry about. If you begin to see that your cycles are varying in length with no real consistency, then there could be an underlying issue. Menstrual charting using a chart like MyCycleDiary can help you to keep track of your cycles in case they begin to change over time.

One of the largest menstrual cycle myths is that each woman releases her egg on the 14th day of her cycle. The fact is that a woman ovulates 14-16 days before her next period. The first half of a woman’s cycle is where she is making the egg and can vary in length. The second half of a woman’s cycle stays the same and is about 14 days.

Pregnancy Symptoms

When you are trying to conceive you will begin to see your body in a whole new light. Things you never noticed a day before in your life are now going to become your worst obsession. When you first begin to see these pregnancy symptoms crop up, your mind will immediately begin to think you must be pregnant, as you have never felt this way before. The truth is that many of the symptoms that you are experiencing you did have, but never noticed.

Each month your body goes through a series of hormonal changes that allow for an egg to grow, mature, be released, and have the capacity to implant in the uterus. Each one of these hormonal signals triggers specific symptoms that you feel. The best way to know if these are symptoms are part of your normal cycle or possibly something else, you should chart your cycles using a program like MyCycleDiary. This will allow you to see if what you are experiencing is merely the natural process of your body each month or if the symptoms are different and might indicate that you are pregnant.

The Follicular Phase

The first stage of the menstrual cycle is called the follicular phase. It is when you get your period and lasts until you ovulate. The actual amount of days can vary from woman to woman. What makes this phase last a different amount of time for different women is the amount of FSH – follicle stimulating hormone – that she makes. Women with the proper amount of FSH will begin follicle stimulation the first day of her period and tends to ovulate regularly and approximately 14 days prior to the onset of her next menses.

Most women do not feel pregnant during this phase of the cycle. Others have an array of symptoms leading up to ovulation that make them wonder if they are. Quite often the symptoms will include an increase in sex drive, tingling in the breasts, and increased cervical mucus. While these are also common in early pregnancy, the consistency is different.

The breast tingles are usually from estrogen increasing and not the same as the tenderness and soreness experienced later. The increase in sex drive is due to impending ovulation. It is also driven by large amounts of the female sex hormone, estrogen. The more estrogen made leading up to ovulation, the more a woman desires sex. It is Mother Nature’s way of ensuring she has sex at the right time to get pregnant. Women who experience an increase in sex drive while pregnant do so due to the increased blood flow to the vagina. It causes the vulva to swell and become more enhanced and sensitive. Cervical mucus prior to ovulation gets more abundant and thinner. This is what allows the sperm to live and find their way to the egg. When a woman is not ovulating her cervical mucus is scant and sticky. This blocks the cervix and makes it harder for the sperm to travel and survive. When a woman is pregnant, her cervical mucus will also increase. The difference is that she will notice it is a while, thicker, and lotion-like texture. This is what helps to make the mucus plug. It acts as a barrier so that nothing bad can get into the uterus and hurt the growing baby.
An easy way to know what time of the cycle you are in is to use an ovulation monitor like Ovatel. This in conjunction with charting can help you to recognize and not confuse the ovulation portion of your cycle.

Luteal Phase

This is the phase of the cycle that starts the day after ovulation and lasts until your period comes or you get pregnant. Once ovulation takes place, estrogen drops and progesterone rises fast. The hormone progesterone is the one responsible for all those pesky pregnancy and PMS symptoms. In fact, it is very hard to determine if one is pregnant or simply has a case of PMS. Progesterone causes a rise in body temperature, it tells the lining of the uterus to grow, and is what facilitates implantation.

Usually the first thing a woman will notice after ovulation is that her breasts begin to hurt. She may find that even wearing a bra is uncomfortable. This is a common issue during early pregnancy as the breast tissue is affected by the progesterone increase. Since the body is preparing for the impeding embryo during the late stage of the cycle, it is common to feel as if you are already pregnant even if it is not even possible.

Headaches are also a common early pregnancy symptom. The body’s reaction to the increase in progesterone is usually more blood flow. This can cause headaches. Some women will suffer from severe headaches all through pregnancy, while others only have them in the early stages while they get used to the new hormones. This is a very common pre-period symptom as well and usually clears up after the onset of the woman’s period.

One of the major symptoms during PMS and early pregnancy is fatigue. Feeling tired is the effect of the progesterone surge the body undergoes after ovulation. The body is preparing to carry a new life. The hormones are meant to slow you down and force you to get extra rest. This will help to keep you well and allow the body to focus on the baby. If you do not get pregnant that cycle, you will regain your energy after the progesterone levels fall to lead up your period coming.

Some other symptoms will include light bleeding that is not your period, backaches, frequent urination, stuffy nose, and darkening of the areolas. All are due to progesterone and will either go away once your period comes or will continue during pregnancy. Make sure to chart them all so you can tell what is normal for you and what might actually be a real symptom of pregnancy for you.

The Truth and Fallacies about Trying To Conceive

When it comes to trying to conceive, there are many lies circulating as to how to do it. The myths must be dispelled if you want to get pregnant fast or at all. It is hard to say when the truth first got skewed to make up the many lies that surround the idea of timing conception. The reasons are even harder to understand and figure out. It could be so that more women fell pregnant from not knowing they were fertile. The idea of planning one’s family was not always looked at as a positive thing.

There a few myths that you must know and not succumb to if you want to get pregnant and want to get that way fast. No matter who you are, you need to know how your body works in order to make it work for you.

You are Fertile on the 14th Day of Cycle

It used to be believed, and still is in some circles, that every woman is fertile only on the 14th day of her cycle. Some did extend it to the days surrounding that 14th day as well. The truth is that not every woman is fertile on the 14th day of her cycle. When a woman is most fertile will be determined by how long her cycles are – the time from the start of her period to the start of her next period. Women with longer cycles will not ovulate until much later in their cycle than women who have shorter cycles.

The truth is that a woman ovulates approximate 14 days before her next period is due. The myth got started by those who assumed that all women have 28 day cycles, so ovulation would be on cycle day 14. This is not the case. A normal menstrual cycle can range from 24 – 40 days long, placing ovulation as early as cycle day 10 and as late as cycle day 26. This would make falling pregnant very hard if not near impossible if you were trying to time intercourse around the 14th day only.

The best way to know when to time intercourse and when you are most fertile is to chart your cycle and use a fertility monitor. Ovatel is a saliva based fertility monitor that tells you when you are most fertile and likely to get pregnant each cycle. It is easy to use and offers women a way to track ovulation and conception.

Only Have Sex Once a Month When You Are Most Fertile

We all know a man did not come up with this rule. Not sure how much the woman who did wanted to fall pregnant, as well. There has been so much on the topic of too little and too much sex, when it comes to trying to get pregnant. It can get over whelming and confusing, to say the least. There are some who school under the assumption that it only takes one time to get pregnant. While this is true, it is the minority, not the majority. There are also those who think if you have sex too much that you will use up all the sperm and have none left over during your fertile window.

The myth about too much sex only is for those who either have male factor issues or those who have sex 10 times every single day. The truth is that sperm production is on a positive feedback regime. The more you use, the more you make. An average male will continue to make new sperm each day. While it takes 72 days for the process to be complete, he has plenty to use up. By having sex regularly throughout the entire cycle, it sends the signal to beef up sperm production. If you try to “save” the sperm until later in the fertile window all you will get is dead or dying sperm. These boys will not get you pregnant.

To get good, healthy sperm you must use it. Make sure to have sex at least once every other day. This will put more sperm into the uterus to enhance your chances of conception, as well as keep your partner making more.

The myth about if your man will run out of his sperm is also not true. While it is true that with each ejaculate you get less sperm mixed into the semen, you are still getting plenty to get you pregnant. When you are at you most fertile, you can have sex as much as you like. He will not run out of swimmers, but he will be adding more soldiers to get the job done at the most critical time. The only time that a man should not have sex more than once per day, is if he has low sperm count. The best way to find out if your man has a healthy sperm count, is to have him use a home semen analysis test. This will enable you to have some peace of mind that all is going right.

Once the Egg is Fertilized, You are Pregnant

Many people think that once the sperm and egg meet, you are pregnant. This is not true. Pregnancy begins once the ovum implants into the womb. This takes time and is not likely to happen for many reasons.

If you are having sex during your most fertile time each cycle, the likelihood that the sperm and egg are meeting is very high. The problems arise after that meeting. There are several factors that need to come together perfectly to be sure that a new human life will begin. The first is that there is the right amount of genetic material from each parent.

Sometime sperm and eggs have issues before they meet, or sometimes they get a hiccup when they make the first few divisions, resulting in genetic error incompatible with life. These embryos will never make it out of the fallopian tube and simply disintegrate. You will never know that the egg and sperm met when your period comes on time.

If all is going well and the embryo is dividing like it should, the body will sending signals to produce progesterone to make the uterine lining sticky. Since it take about 6 days for the embryo to make it out of the tube, the lining is usually perfect once it arrives. The truth is that the lining is not always as thick or sticky as it needs to be. If progesterone is low, the lining could be too thin for the embryo to attach to or could be too weak to support a pregnancy even if it does. It also could not have enough sticky receptor to stop the egg from rolling down the lining to implant. Low progesterone can also cause a woman to get her period early, which would flush out any embryo present.

Once the egg implants it makes hCG that tells the ovaries that there is a new life present. This cue makes the ovaries make more progesterone to keep a woman’s period away and allow her to stay pregnant.

The best way to be sure that your body is doing all it should, is to have your hormones tested. If your hormones are at the right levels during specific times of your cycle, you are more likely to ovulate a mature, healthy egg and support its implantation. An at home hormone saliva test is easy to do and will tell you all you need to know to get pregnant fast.

Trying to Conceive After 35

Today more and more couples are waiting until after 35 to begin their families. There are many pros and cons to this. While more people are ready for the responsibility that comes with raising a child when they are older, as well as more financially prepared, they also can have a harder time getting pregnant than those who are younger.

There are assumptions that people do not realize when it comes to getting pregnant. One of them is that the older a woman is when she tries to get pregnant, the harder it can be for many reasons. These reasons can include lowered ovarian reserve, diminished egg quality, and sperm issues.

How Many Eggs do you Really Need?

It only takes one egg, right? Well, yes and no. While there is only one to two eggs per cycle that mature enough to be released in ovulation, the process starts out with between 16 and 30 eggs. This is called antral follicle count. If the count is lower, then a woman could not have many eggs left.

Every woman is born with all the eggs she will ever have. By the time she begins ovulating, she will have already lost half her supply. Each month from her first menses until menopause she will start out each cycle with many immature eggs and follicles. As she ages the number will become lower and lower and the older eggs will of lesser quality than those she releases in her teens and twenties. While it only takes one to be released, the fewer eggs you have at the beginning of your cycle, the less likely you will be able to get one to mature to ovulation.

Since it is the actual follicle that makes estrogen, the number of follicles will determine if you get a mature egg or not. Follicle Stimulating Hormone – FSH – is made in the brain and is absorbed into the ovaries. This tells them to make eggs. Each egg is in a follicle and produces estrogen to be carried back to the brain. This keeps going in a circle until there is enough estrogen to make at least one egg mature for ovulation. Once the estrogen gets high enough, it triggers Luteinizing Hormone – LH – to be released. This is what matures the egg and makes it ovulate.

How Do I Know That I Have Enough Eggs and they are Good?

There are many ways to figure out if you are making enough eggs or not. The first thing you need to do is chart your cycle. If you are finding that your cycles are varying in length in drastic ways, then you could not be ovulating leach cycle. This anovulation could be due to not having enough follicles in the beginning of your cycle.

Another way to know if you are going to have an issue after 35 is to use an ovulation predictor method to determine if you are ovulating or not. There are several to choose from. You can do urine LH tests to see if you are ovulating each month or use a monitor such as Ovatel. The Ovatel monitor will tell you up to five days prior that you are fertile and should release an egg. The urine LH tests will tell you that you should release an egg within 12-48 hours.

If you want to know more about your ovarian reserve and egg quality, you can even do a cycle day 3 FSH test at home. A FSH test tells you if your FSH is too high. The higher it is in the beginning of your cycle, the lower your egg count or egg quality as your body has to mass produce FSH to make any follicles. You want this test to say a big fat no way.

How Can I Get Pregnant if Egg Count is Low?

If you find out that you might have a low ovarian reserve or poor egg quality, it does not mean that you will never have children. There are many ways to get the family that you want. There are hormone tests you will need to do prior to moving onto other treatments. Once these have been done then you can look at other options for conception. There are many medications that can help you make more eggs than normal, so that you have a higher chance of getting pregnant than without the medication.

You will have to have your husband submit to a semen analysis first to be sure that the options that are given to you are not only good for you, but your husband’s needs as well. Low sperm count can be an issue, so you want to be sure that you have him tested prior to starting ovulation medication.

The Fertility Lubricant – Conceive Plus

Trying to get pregnant can be one of the most stressful endeavors for couples. What if you do not fall pregnant right away? What if something is not working right? How would you know if you had fertility problems? Too many questions and doubts can leave couples more stressed out than happy about trying for a child.

The best advice one can give when starting out in the trying to conceive journey is to do what you can to improve your chances right from the start. This will mean that you will want to know all about your cycles, when you are most fertile, and if your body is doing what it should. Conceive Plus is a sperm friendly lubricant that is made to mimic a woman’s natural bodily fluids.

The Benefits

One of the most important benefits to Conceive Plus is that it actually safe and formulated to be used while actively trying to get pregnant. It is great for sperm motility and viability. This means it will help them to swim to where they need to go and survive monger in the hostility of the vagina. It is designed to act like fertile cervical mucus. This is important, as it is the cervical mucus that makes it so the sperm can get into the cervical canal and eventually the uterus. If a woman has hostile cervical mucus, it can kill the sperm and not allow them to fertilize the egg.

The Conceive Plus lubricant is electrolyte balanced to match natural bodily fluids. It is also the only sperm friendly lubricant out there that contains Calcium and Magnesium ions. These specific ions are essential for fertilization and cell viability. There are also no complex sugars in this lubricant that can cause difficulty and interruption with fertilization. This makes it ideal for timing intercourse with your most fertile window.

If you want to be sure that you get the most out of your baby making sessions, then you will want to make sure that your body is receptive and friendly for sperm. In order for the little swimmers to perform they must have very specific electrolytes present and be in an environment with extremely strict ranges of pH and other natural parameters.

When to Use

Unlike other lubricants, you only need to use the Conceive Plus when you are most fertile. To know when your fertile window is, you will want to use the Ovatel fertility scope. What the fertility monitor will tell you is the time of your cycle you are most likely to get pregnant. This is the time that leading up to ovulation or the release of the egg. You will begin to use your sperm friendly lubricant once the Ovatel scope shows the fertile ferning pattern. You will start to time intercourse during this window to optimize your chances of falling pregnant.

To use the lubricant, you will want to put a bit on your finger or in your hand and then apply it either on the penis, inside the vagina, or both. Unlike many other lubricants, you can feel free to use as much as you are comfortable with. Many other sperm friendly lubricants can take away from the pleasure of love-making; this brand is designed to aid in pleasure as well as fertility.

The Fertility Checklist – Tests to Do at Home

There are several reasons that you may want to do some at home fertility tests. You may have been trying to conceive for over 6 months and nothing seems to be happening. It could be that you have always had irregular cycles and want to be sure that there is nothing to worry about and ovulation is taking place.

No matter the reasons why you want to test your fertility at home, you will want to know what tests to take and when to take them. Many tests that look for fertility issues have to be taken at a certain time in your cycle, so be sure to know what cycle day you are on at all times.

FSH Testing

Some basic testing begins with finding out if your FSH – Follicle Stimulating Hormone – is in the normal range. This will tell you if you have plenty of eggs left and if they are of good quality or not. Women with too high a FSH have a difficult time conceiving on their own. It is best to know now if you are in the right range, so you are not wasting time if you need to see a doctor.

This test must be done on the third day of your menstrual cycle. It is the level of FSH at this particular time that will give the answer you want. Testing before or after cycle day 3 will lead to incorrect results and cannot be trusted. Cycle day 1 of your menstrual cycle is the first day of normal bleed, not including spotting prior to onset. Once your cycle has begun, you will wait until the third day of bleeding to take the test. A negative result is what you want for this test.

Testing Vaginal pH

Not many people think about the fact that one’s own body could be keeping pregnancy from happening. The vagina is designed to protect the uterus. Cervical mucus is secreted inside the vaginal canal and is hostile to anything that may enter that could be harmful. This includes bacteria and sperm. Once per cycle the ovaries trigger the cervix to produce sperm-friendly mucus that aids in travel into the cervical canal – out of the vagina, nourishes sperm, and raises the pH of the vagina to optimum sperm pH.

Some women never make enough or any sperm friendly cervical mucus. This will leave the pH of the vagina hostile. If most of the sperm are killed before even getting out of the vaginal canal, then pregnancy is not likely to happen. Testing the vaginal pH before and after intercourse during your most fertile period can help you determine if this is an issue for you. You can use an at home pH test strip to figure this out. Simply get a sample from your vagina using a Q-Tip and rub it on the strip. It will tell you if you are in the good range or not.

If you find that your pH is not in the healthy range, you do not need to become concerned. There are products that you can use to change this and actually aid in conception. Both Pre-Seed and Conceive Plus are sperm friendly lubricants that make the pH of the vagina perfect for getting pregnant. Simply use one of these lubricants prior to intercourse each time. They are highly effective and you do not need much to get the job done. Make sure to only use a sterile applicator each time or a thoroughly washed finger. That way you do not contaminate the tube with bacteria from your hands or vagina.

Saliva Hormone Tests

If you find that you have been trying for over 6 months and have not seen a positive pregnancy test yet, you may want to try a at home saliva hormone test. This will allow you to see if your hormones responsible for ovulation and uterine lining are where they should be ideally for conception and implantation. These tests also tell you if your androgens (male hormones) are too high or other hormones are off that can affect a successful pregnancy.

Depending on what type of tests you get, you will want to be sure that you take the samples when instructed. Some tests need to be done on cycle day three, while others need to be done on cycle day 20-21. Always read the instructions to your kit thoroughly to be sure you get it right.

Using the BBT Method with Ovatel – The Confirmation

One of the best things about Ovatel is that it gives you a 5 day fertility window. It tells you when you are most fertile and likely to get pregnant each cycle. You will be able to time intercourse in order to optimize your chances. What you cannot do with the scope is confirm that ovulation has indeed occurred. That is what the basal body temperature method – or BBT – is for.

The basal body method allows you to see when your ovulation window has ended. You will see a rise in temperature that means that ovulation is done and that you have 14-16 days until you can take a home pregnancy test and your period is due. It will also tell you if your luteal phase is healthy enough to actually conceive or not. The key to learning this information is to learn how to take your BBT correctly.

Learning the Proper BBT Method

There are rules to BBT that are very important to be able to determine that ovulation is over and when it happened. This will also show you that your Ovatel is picking up your fertility window. The first and most important rule is to make sure to take your temperature first thing in the morning as soon as you wake up. You will also need a BBT thermometer that is specifically designed for this as it reads the slightest temperature change and to the hundredth degree.

Every single morning you are going to want to take your BBT at the exactly same time. This is because you want a consistent chart to look at. You will do nothing else before you take your temperature. Make sure not to drink, eat, kiss your husband, or even go to the bathroom. You can even keep your chart next to your bedside with your thermometer so you can go back to sleep after you recorded it. Once you choose a time that works for you every day of the week, then you will have to choose a place to take your temperature. Yes, there is more than one location.

You can choose to basal body temperature either vaginal or orally. Each one has benefits to the user. Taking your BBT orally is a lot less messy when you are on your period, as you can well imagine. You will simply place the thermometer under your tongue and wait for it to beep a response. The cons to this method is that if you are a frequent night waker or sleep with your mouth open, then you will not get a very accurate chart. Your temperatures may be misleading and that can make it hard to confirm ovulation.

The other way to take your BBT is to do it vaginally. While it can be a bit messier during your period, it is nothing that a wipe cannot fix. The benefits definitely out way the one con by a mile. You will not have to worry about night waking, sleeping with your mouth open, or your temperatures giving you a crazy looking chart. You will get a much more accurate chart that will be much easier to see when ovulation has occurred.

How to Chart Your Temperature

You need to actually chart or write down your temperatures if you want to actually confirm your ovulation. The point is to see the thermal shift that occurs right after ovulation happens. You will see the shift of at least 0.20 degree to up to 1.0 degree the day after ovulation has happened.

For the first half of your chart you will see nothing spectacular. As ovulation approaches and your Ovatel is showing ferning, your temps might even dip lower than normal. Depending on how you take your BBT, your temperatures can range from the high 96 area to as high as the low 98’s. Once ovulation has occurred and you see a spike that lasts for over 3 days in a row, you can assume that ovulation has happened. This will also be confirmed by the lack of ferning on your Ovatel scope. The normal temperature range during the luteal phase is between the low 98’s and 99’s.

When you use a chart with a graph, such as MyCycleDiary, you will be able to see this temperature jump very easily. The average luteal phase is approximately 12 – 16 days long. Anything lower can make conception hard or indicate a progesterone deficiency. Once you have charted for three cycles in a row, you will be able to see and predict when ovulation will occur.

Adjusting BBT to Fit Your Life

There are couple cheats you need to know about when taking your basal body temperature. You need to know that you have a two hour window to adjust your temperatures when you get up too early or late. Wow! Who knew? The best way to pick the time you want to temp each day is to look at a four hour window of the earliest and latest you tend to rise each morning. Select the time in the dead center as your temp time. This allows you to adjust your temp if you have to get up early or late for some reason, but it will still be accurate.

An example would be if you wake up no earlier than 5 AM or later than 9 AM, set your temping time to 7 AM. This allows you to adjust easily. Subtract 0.10 degree for every 30 minutes that you wake late, up to 2 hours late. This is because the later you sleep; the higher your temperature is first thing in the morning. If you wake up early, add 0.10 degree for every 30 minutes. Your temp is lower when in deeper sleep, so you would be cooler than your wake up time normally.

The Male Factor and Conception

The male factor in conception is equally important as the female factor. While women spend so much time figuring out their fertility, men rarely think that they could not be able to get a woman pregnant at whim. When have so many tools to use at home, such as Ovatel that can help them figure out if they are fertile or not, men are not so lucky. Before you go screaming to the doctor for a sperm analysis, there are things you can do at how that can improve your man’s chances of having a health sperm count.

These tips will also allow your man to make healthy sperm. Healthy sperm can swim and are formed correctly. If they are not, or too many of them are impaired in some way, then he will not be able to father a child naturally.

What is Under Your Clothes?

What your man wears under his clothes can really affect the quantity and quality of his sperm. There is a reason why the testicles are freely moving and can pull up and drop down. It is for temperature control. In order to produce healthy, viable sperm that are capable of penetrating and fertilizing an egg, the scrotum must keep the testes at the perfect temperature.

If your man wears the highly known “tighty whities” then he is forcing his testicles to rest too close to his core temperature. This can make his count drop and pregnancy less likely. It has also been documented to cause sperm with two heads, that cannot swim, and even ones that are not capable of breaking through the egg’s outer cortex. Encourage your man to wear boxer shorts instead. This will allow his boys to freely move when they need to, to escape the heat. It takes sperm about 72 days or roughly 3 months to be produced and matured in the testicles. So do not be concerned if you are not pregnant during the time of the switch.

Healthy Choices

It might seem like common sense to live a healthy life style, but you will be surprised what you will want to be aware of when trying to conceive. Make sure your guy is eating right, not smoking, abstaining from drugs, and not drinking too much alcohol. All of these can have negative results on his sperm. The worst being poor DNA content, which can cause birth defects and disorders. If your man is doing drugs or activities that could cause potential harm to your baby, have him stop and use protection for 3 months to be sure all the bad sperm are gone.

Your hubby can, however, enjoy coffee. While we gals have to give it up or reduce it to enhance our fertility, sperm actually respond well to the caffeine. It helps them move faster. This will up the rate of survival after ejaculation, as the vagina is very hostile for sperm and can kill it. The faster the boys swim the better chances of survival and more will make it into the uterus and tubes. You can also use Pre-Seed to help make the vagina sperm friendly as well.

Sex, Sex, and More Sex

There is nothing better for sperm production than sex. The more you use it, the more is made. The male body is a feedback system. If you with hold intercourse to “save” the sperm, you are actually doing more damage. The sperm that are released are older and die easier. By using sperm regularly, you are telling the body that more need to be made. Supply and demand is what the game is.

For men that do have actual low sperm count, sex once every other day is what is recommended. If there are no known sperm issues, you can have sex as much as you want.

The Conception Combination – Ovatel and Pre-Seed

When it comes to conception, there are ways to improve your chances of getting pregnant each month. Very few women are familiar with their cycles and rarely do they know when they are ovulating. It is a myth that ovulation happens in the middle of a cycle. That only happens if you have a 28-30 day cycle. If it is longer or shorter, then the time will vary.

Timing is the key to falling pregnant fast. You must time intercourse for the days leading up to ovulation so that there is sperm waiting for the egg. Since the egg only lives for 12-24 hours, having an entire army waiting in there is crucial for winning this war.

The Amazing Duo

When are first starting your TTC adventure, you want to make sure you time everything right and that your body is in perfect working condition. Ovatel is a fertility microscope that monitors fertility. When you are using it each day, you will be able to track whether or not ovulation is approaching. Once you see the ferning patter that suggests that your estrogen is beginning to peak, you would then start timing intercourse. Timing is the first battle.

The second battle is the battle of the unknown. The vagina is not a very sperm friendly place. It is the first defense to protecting the womb from foreign invaders. Once a month, when a woman is most fertile, her cervical mucus will change. It will become sperm friendly and actually help he sperm leave the hostility of the vagina and get into the cervical canal. The problem is that you do not know if your cervical mucus is sperm friendly or not. There is a test called a post the post coidal test, but rarely do doctors do this unless it has been over a year with no pregnancy.

To be safe, you will want to take matters into your own hands. Pre-Seed is a sperm friendly lubricant that is water based. It creates a safe place for sperm by regulating the pH of the vagina to the right level, providing the sperm with a slippery surface to travel fast away from the antibodies that are in the woman’s body. Using Pre-Seed will give you the peace of mind that you are creating a perfect environment internally for conception.

How to Use Your Ovatel and Pre-Seed

Using your Ovatel fertility scope and Pre-Seed lubricant is actually quite easy. You will want to be sure to use the scope each and every day. If you do not, you could miss your fertility window. Each day, place a drop of saliva on the microscope window. Allow the sample to dry for at least 10 minutes. Do not dry it by using artificial means, as it will ruin the results. Once it is dry you will look into the scope in a light source. If you see the ferning pattern, then you know it is time to have sex.

Pre-Seed is a very slippery lubricant. The truth is that less is more when it comes to using it. Too much can take away the natural friction of intercourse. Using the applicator, fill the tube with a very small amount, or place a tiny amount on a clean finger. Apply the lube into the vagina. This will adjust your vaginal pH to approximately 7 and allow for sperm to travel easy into the cervical canal.

Disclaimer: We are not, nor do we claim to be, medical professionals. Any opinions on this page or within this website are just that (opinions). If you are in need of professional medical advice, please consult your doctor.